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Mariupol maternity hospital bombing killed three people including child, says deputy mayor

‘These are awful numbers,’ Sergei Orlov says

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 10 March 2022 09:45 GMT
Russian attack on Mariupol hospital a ‘war crime’, says James Heappey

A six-year-old child is among at least three people who were killed in the bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city’s deputy mayor has said.

Sergei Orlov said 17 others were injured in the attack on Wednesday, which has sparked international outrage and been widely condemned as a “war crime”.

Russian air strikes destroyed the maternity and children’s hospital as Mariupol, an industrial port city in Ukraine, continued to find itself under fire during the war waged by Vladimir Putin.

The bombing took place during a ceasefire period that was meant to allow civilians to safely flee. Similar attempts were called off at the weekend, with Ukrainian authorities accusing Russia of continuing attacks.

Mr Orlov told BBC Breakfast on Thursday morning that 17 people were injured and three killed - including a child - in the attack. Authorities said one of the injured was a woman in labour.

“These are awful numbers,” Mariupol’s deputy mayor said, adding he was “absolutely sure” the bombing of the 700-bed hospital constituted a war crime.

This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

Mr Orlov also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was certain the hospital was the target of the airstrikes. “This is the third hospital that they have destroyed in the city,” he said.

The World Health Organisation said 18 attacks have been carried on on medical facilities in Ukraine since the Russia launched its all-out invasion two weeks ago.

Mariupol’s city council said the hospital bombing on Wednesday caused “colossal” damage, while the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said it had left a number of people trapped beneath wreckage.

Images showed pregnant women being carried through rubble on stretchers after the maternity and children’s hospital after Mariupol had spent days under attack.

On Thursday, the UK’s defence minister said the hospital bombing was a “war crime” and evidence would be gathered to show it broke international law.

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